From the overly politically correct Chicago Tribune:
The group members enter a restaurant, and when spotting a diner’s cell phone on the table they approach and present fliers claiming they are raising money for their basketball team, police said.
The members place a flier atop the victim’s cell phone while talking, then when retrieving the flier grab the cell phone as well, police said in the alert.
The similar thefts have taken place at 4:40 p.m. on Dec. 31 on the 300 block of North Michigan Avenue, 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 2 on the 600 block of North Fairbanks Court, 6:10 p.m. Jan. 2 on the 100 block of North Wabash Avenue and 8:40 p.m. Jan 2 on the 400 block of East Ontario Street.
In one of the thefts a group member asked restaurant staff for a glass of water before another member grabbed a cell phone and fled, police said.
Witness accounts have varied, but police said in general the suspects are described as three or four males, age 14-25, working together. They have been seen getting into a tan 4-door hardtop, possibly “Buick-style,” police said.
The alert warns victims not to chase a robber but to take careful note of any unique physical characteristics — like scars or a limp — and call police immediately. If there are other witnesses, request contact information.
via Chicago Tribune.
So this is a community alert. The police are doing two things: First, asking people to be aware of the scam; and Second, asking people to “take careful note of any unique physical characteristics” of the perps. So guess what’s missing from the article? … Go on… Guess.
My guess is that these crimes are most likely being committed by white college frat boys as some sort of hazing ritual. Or maybe some lilly white LL Bean flannel shirt wearing beatniks who are just looking for bus fare back to Portland.
People, we will not solve any issue in this land by putting our heads in the sand. If a group of young black, brown, white, yellow, red, purple, beige, kids is going around ripping off cell phone then that’s what’s going on. We need the cops (and everyone else) to know what to look for.
Lies and deception — even by half-truth — is not helpful to anyone.